Mixed Dal Shorba!

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Ever since my diet regimen started I m trying out healthier experiments fusing in the traditional recipes with a twist. I simply love the traditional “Dal Tadka” (a soup de legumes tempered with home-made ghee/clarified butter) as well as the Dal served with “Daal Baati & Churma”.

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The only folly in the traditional recipes for these is the oodles of clarified butter/desi ghee added into the tempering. I agree that adds to the taste, but apparently it adds to my weight too. Tried to use half ghee and half olive oil reducing the total amount of fat that goes into the tempering (as suggested by Chef. Sanjeev Kapoor, but it still is a lot of fat. Honestly, I was looking for something more wholesome and nutritious because one can eat only as much as one could burn (exert).

While in the mode of experimentation, I was trying to research on few recipes/food options that could be used for lunch /dinner as one pot meal dish.

Now, we are typical Indian family that loves traditional Indian flavors and recipes so the taste is really important. In my recent India visit, we had the opportunity to taste

“Chicken Shorba” at a restaurant. It was super delicious and filling meal in itself. And, I set my lab to test this J

Featured imageIn case you are wondering what this food jargon means?

Shorba is soup, a spicy version of the somewhat bland concoction that precedes the main course at mealtimes. Its roots are in ancient Persia, a reference to the salted, boiling water in which meat was cooked.  Shorba arrived in India along with the sumptuous cuisine of the Mughals. Soon, vegetarian India reinvented it in a variety of avatars.

Easy to prepare and its versatile; could be served for lunch/dinner and as a side dish (served with rice/roti) or as a soup. Typically, a non-vegetarian shorba (lamb, chicken) is Curry Lite with sparingly used onion, a little corn flour for thickening, a dash of lemon juice, coriander leaves and the usual whole spices used in Indian cooking.

Vegetarian recipes change according to regional cuisine. Western India likes a tinge of sweetness, so a dash of jaggery or sugar may be added to a tomato shorba. Dal shorba ( red lentils or masoor dal) is mild tasting and packed with protein.

Based on this I came up with a low calorie,high on protein and tasty one pot meal “Mixed Dal (legumes/pulses) Shorba”.

Ingredients:( for 5-6 bowls of shorba)

  • ¼ cup Quinoa (some recipes use white or brown rice too).
  • ¼ cup Split green gram (moong dal).
  • ¼ cup split green peas dal.
  • ¼ cup Split Bengal Gram (chana dal).
  • ¼ cup Split red gram (toor dal).
  • ¼ cup Split red lentil (masoor dal).
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic-peeled, chopped finely.
  • 1-2 cloves.
  • 1-2 tsps. Chopped ginger.
  • 2 tsps. All spices powder (Garam masala).
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds.
  • Salt per taste.
  • 3-4 nos. curry leaves.
  • 3-4 dried red Kashmiri chilis (not very spicy and are available at Indian grocery stores)
  • 1 tsp.asafoetida.
  • 2 tsps. Turmeric powder.
  • 2 tsps. Olive oil.
  • Finely chopped cilantro.

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The long list of ingredients is very overwhelming sometimes. But, trust me the method is going to be super simple. All you need is a pressure cooker (to cook all lentils/legumes/pulses and a tiny saucepan (to make the tempering) as well as 15 min on the clock in your favour J

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  • Wash all the lentils/legumes/pulses a couple of times. Add 2 and ¼ cups of water (almost double the quantity of uncooked dals) in the pressure cooker and add all the lentils in it.
  • Add turmeric and asafoetida in it.
  • Let it cook until the cooker pressure releases 4-5 whistles. Then, switch off the burner and wait until the cooker cools down. If you are in a hurry, just keep the cooker under running water. This will help the cooker cool faster and you would be able to open the cooker, taking off the whistles first.

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  • Then smash the dal using the back of your ladle. We need it to smash into a fine paste. Add water and switch the burner underneath on. Mix it well into a fine paste. Boil it.
  • On another burner, take a small saucepan and make the tempering. For tempering, heat the pan and add olive oil, cumin seeds, cloves, curry leaves and dried red chilies.
  • When the cumin crackles, add the chopped ginger and garlic. Sauté it over until aromatic.
  • If you like, you may add a little clarified butter or ghee in the tempering. I did not feel the need to do so.
  • Pour the tempering (while hot) on to the boiling dal.
  • Add garam masala and stir.
  • Garnish with cilantro.

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Simple, Straightforward and absolutely homey. Nutritious comfort food ready in minutes.

My son loves this mixed dal with roasted Papad and steam rice. I like it as is J

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Get back to the kitchen tomorrow morning and enjoy this J Mondays sure can be happy!


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